Another new taxi company prepares to open in Albert Lea
Published 5:07 pm Thursday, April 13, 2023
A man with experience driving taxis with four previous local companies is starting his own taxi business in Albert Lea.
Don Shuck said his new business, Lea Taxi, is waiting on the last sign-off from the city, but he has been busy getting the word out to local bars and other establishments.
Shuck, who was born and raised in Austin for 16 years before moving to Albert Lea for the last 53 years, said he has previously worked for Taxi Inc., Joe T. Taxi Service, DC Taxi and, most recently, Albert Lea Taxi five to seven years ago.
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“My heart’s always been in the taxi business,” he said, noting he enjoys being around and interacting with people.
When Albert Lea Taxi closed its doors last year, he said he felt strongly that Albert Leans needed a new taxi company in town, not only to get people home from bars who have had too much to drink, but also to take people to appointments in or outside of town.
“If we keep one drunk off the road it’s a success,” he said.
Shuck recognized the expansion of Vern’s Ride Services earlier this year in an effort to meet the need for rides but said he thinks there’s room for both companies in the community.
Shuck, who is being backed by a local business owner who wished to remain anonymous, said he will start with two passenger cars for the business and four drivers, including himself. He will possibly hire additional drivers and hopes to soon get a van to add to his fleet.
Primary hours will be from 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., though he will be on call as needed in the off-hours.
Drivers will be available to take people to and from locations in Albert Lea but also outside of Albert Lea as requested.
He said he is working with staff at Harold’s Bar and Bleachers Sports Bar & Grill to hand out cards giving their customers a $5 discount when they need rides after having too much to drink. He also hopes to reach out to the hospital and area nursing homes to make them aware of the company for people who need help getting home from the hospital or other locations.
He said his top priority is safety for both his drivers and his customers and he plans to run a strict business.
He said no smoking will be allowed in the vehicles, and the cars will be cleaned daily.
Prior to starting the business, Shuck worked part time at Plaza Moreno helping out a few nights a week.
Once the business gets the final approval from the city, it will be able to be reached at 318-6323.